Let us bow before the Goddess of Girlie Drinks

How many projects will Jenn take to her weekend knitting retreat, out of her 40 WIPs? Email your guess by 4 pm CDT, March 2, and you could win a mysterious prize.

If you live in the Twin Cities, you could be in a Cloud Cult video shoot (beware – link has sound) at Como Park this Sunday! (Thanks to Van for the heads up.) I might be there – I’ll be the one trying to knit while wearing mittens and dork boots.

I am so ready for this week to be done! Work has been busy. While the book scanning project was great fun, it disrupted my regularly scheduled relaxation – I haven’t knit since Sunday night. (Good timing on the Guilt-Free Fiber Dispensation, Trek – thanks.)

I’m behind in my blog reading. I’ve only read one book, and it was one of those “so horrible I have to keep reading to see if it can redeem itself” kind of books. The answer? Not even close. The book? Dancing with Werewolves: Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator by Carole Nelson Douglas. I really can’t remember the last time I read a book that bad. If there was an editor involved in the project (doubtful), he or she should never be allowed to work again. Gee, Chris, what did you really think of the book?! 😉

I’m enjoying my ASL class and even learning a bit, but it sure leaves my brain tired. (Stop giggling at me, Fraro!)

“I hope your class is also covering the more important KSL,* Mom, because the big kitty and I are getting plenty tired of having to communicate with you via these photo captions!” -Mayhem

Is it the weekend yet?! All hail the Goddess of Girlie Drinks! Worship amongst yourselves as you see fit…

*Kitty Sign Language

Peeking under my bed

Filled with “Must Have Cardigan” fever, Jeanne and I each ordered a copy of Street Smart to get the pattern. (I was extremely impressed with the service we got – Jessica of Weaving Rainbow even checked to make sure I’d meant to order two copies; she’ll have more copies of Street Smart soon).

“You’re boring me, Mom.” -Mayhem

“Does that come in black?” -Chaos

I realize my pictures of the CueCat barcode scanner yesterday didn’t emphasize its feline qualities, so here it is with a similarly shaped cat carving from MamaTulip:

“Now this is much more interesting!” *sniff sniff sniff* -Mayhem

*sniff sniff sniff* -Chaos

“Mmmm…. cord…” -Mayhem

Looks like I need to get the bitter apple out again, doesn’t it?!

Last night I finished scanning my books, other than the odd copy that I’ve loaned out and some knitting books/booklets that don’t have barcodes or ISBNs. For the morbidly curious, you can take a peek at my library – I recommend filtering by a keyword tag, such as “knitting” or “cycling.” (Yes, Van, you will find something if you filter by “zombies.”)

I was even inspired to pull out the boxes of books from under my bed! Wanna take a peek?

Perhaps you need a bit more info about what you’re seeing (beyond that I have enough wrapping paper for the next five years)? About eight years ago, my brother helped me build a queen-size futon frame (well, ok, he did 95% of the work – thanks, Matt!). This particular frame turns all the space under the futon into dust-free storage – I can fit a total of 24 copy paper boxes under the frame, with space on top of the boxes for a layer of luggage, ski poles, wrapping paper, snowshoes (on the other side, sorry) and a broomball stick (helpfully keeping me from being crushed by the futon as I rummage around). The amount of storage this adds to my wee condo is considerable and much appreciated. When in use, the futon rests on two removable slatted sections:

Sorry the picture is blurry – I was attempting to balance on one foot and take the picture while using my other foot to prevent the futon from falling back into place. It didn’t go so well, but I think the bruising will be minimal. 😉

Can’t blog – catscanning

So I decided to join LibraryThing and I even ordered a barcode scanner to make things easy.

The barcode scanner is shaped like a cat.

“Um, Mom, that’s not what cats are shaped like. Trust me on this one.” -Mayhem

“They couldn’t make this thing black?” -Chaos

Nom nom nom – at least its alleged tail is tasty!” -Mayhem

“Really, this would look so much better as a black cat…” -Chaos

Gone walkabout

Saturday was gorgeous in the Twin Cities – sunny and in the mid-30s. I tossed on a lightweight jacket, grabbed my camera, and headed out for a walk around the neighborhood.

The sky was divinely blue.

Mmmm… coffee…

Some neighbors were out and about, too. 😉

And I found plenty to contemplate as I wandered. Do you need to buy two dresses to get a pair of flip flops? And spend $200 to get a pair of boots? How many people just leave with their one boot or flip flop?

“Darn it, that time Mom almost busted me traveling through the wormhole between Cyn’s place and here! Must be more careful…” -Mayhem

Mayhem meets Chappy!

Jen’s having a contest to help her friend choose kitchen cabinet hardware. Weigh in with your opinion by 8 am EST, February 29, and you could win some kitchen cotton.

Reading Update
Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby. Really, I can’t believe how much I’ve enjoyed Hornby’s books about reading. Hornby is very, very funny and most of his insights are spot on. This was a particular favorite: “But please, if you’re reading a book that’s killing you, put it down and read something else, just as you would reach for the remote if you weren’t enjoying a TV program.”
Unshapely Things and Unquiet Dreams by Mark del Franco. A promising new urban fantasy/mystery series set in Boston about Connor Grey, a druid who lost most of his powers in an accident.
Three in Death by J.D. Robb. This book contains three Eve Dallas/Roarke novellas that have been published elsewhere: “Interlude in Death,” “Midnight in Death,” and “Haunted in Death.”

Recently, I won a contest over at Chappysmom. Deb sent me some gorgeous purple Zephyr and one of her cute Chappy cards – thank you, Deb!

“That Chappy kitty has a very long nose and ears! What do you mean, he’s not a kitty? What else is there?!!” -Mayhem

“Oh! Laceweight yarn! My favorite!” -Mayhem

“I’m sure Mom won’t even notice if I steal a ball or two of this. It’s not like she’s knitted any lace that I can remember.” -Mayhem

In which Chaos goes to the vet

So what are the major differences between Shelfari, GoodReads, and LibraryThing? I have accounts on all of them, but if I’m going to do a “book thing” like that, I need to pick just one.

This lolcat pic gets me giggling every time. This one leaves me feeling vaguely guilty, even though I’ve never tried washing either cat. Of course, since I took Chaos to the vet last night for his shots… (Click the picture below for a close-up of feline suspicion.)

“Hmm… Mom is acting awfully weird. Something’s up.” -Chaos

His suspicions were confirmed when I put on his collar.

“No good can come of this collar business. I’ll just tell you right now that I don’t approve of whatever you have in mind, Mom.” -Chaos

“Woe! I thought this was a kitty bed!” -Chaos

Chaos’s distressed caterwauling attracted the attention of PJ, the new counter kitten at the vet – he had to hop down and see what was wrong. Chaos growled at him for his troubles… but I don’t think PJ’s holding a grudge (in fact, I’m not sure PJ has more than two or three brain cells, but he sure is cute!).

“I knew no good could come of her putting that collar on me. Sometimes it sucks to always be right.” -Chaos

“Vengeance WILL be mine. Remember that, Mom.” -Chaos

DPNs left unattended will be devoured

Not suitable for those sensitive to violence against DPNs. You have been warned. What follows isn’t pretty.

A few weeks ago, Jeanne happened to leave a DPN (double-pointed needle) here after she came over to knit. I don’t think she’ll make that mistake a second time… (Yes, that is one of its tips lying near the bottom of the photo. No, I have no idea where the other tip is. Guess I’ll be looking for it in the litterbox…)

“Hey, Mom put this great toy out again!” -Chaos

*mwmph-crunch* -Mayhem

“Don’t hog it, May – I was the one who found it on the end table in the first place!” -Chaos

*mwmph-crunch* -Mayhem

“Hey, big kitty, I was playing with that!” -Mayhem

*mwmph-crunch* -Chaos

“Ha!” *mwmph-crunch* -Mayhem

“Hey! I was chewing on that!” -Chaos

“Maybe I can steal it back…” -Chaos

*mwmph-crunch* -Mayhem

I’m rather unclear what’s happening in this picture, but you could hear scuffling and scurrying and the DPN definitely went with them:

“Mom!! Why did you take it away?!” -Chaos & Mayhem

Anyone know why they don’t make chew toys for cats?!

Not that you’d know it from all the cat pictures recently

…but really, I am still knitting! (Yes, I’ll pause for y’all to recover from the traditional shock of discovering this is a knitting blog.) The first Cable Twist sock is nearly finished and feline interest in this project remains high.

“Addi addi addi addi addi…” -Chaos

Here’s a macro shot of the cable twist detail. Loves me some twisted stitches, I does! (See Mayhem’s nose sneaking toward that strand of yarn? I fear she doesn’t share my love for and appreciation of twisted stitches.)

“Yarn yarn yarn yarn yarn…” -Mayhem

Do not fear, Gentle Readers – I expend a great deal of effort to keep Mayhem from actually connecting with yarn. Cat carrier love notwithstanding, I don’t want to make that vet visit…

Wild evening at Casa de Chaos y Mayhem

Craftylilly Jennifer is celebrating her third blogiversary with a trivia contest – she posted the first trivia question Monday, will post the second on Wednesday, and then the third on Friday.

Chaos and May hanging out on a typical wild evening around here…

“Dum de dum de dum de dum…” -Chaos

“What? Cat carrier?! What cat carrier?!?? This is a spiffy kitty bed. You and your notions, Mom.” -Mayhem

Here’s a closer look at Mayhem in the, um, “kitty bed.” This photo was taken with a flash, and features May’s speedy squint reflex.

“So bright! Why do you always try to blind me, Mom?” -Mayhem

Without flash… sure, you can’t see her body at all, but you do get a much better idea of how very, very wide her eyes are.

“Much better without the blinding light. Why don’t you always take pictures this way?” -Mayhem

More evidence of that sink kitty thing

Damn, I didn’t realize that Friday was Singles’ Awareness Day. For a good read on the subject of singleness, check out “Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo” over at lifehack.org.

The new issue of Yarnival, as edited by Miss T, is now available!

Reading Update
The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress by Audrey Niffenegger. If you’re looking for something in the vein of Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, you won’t find it in these visual “novels.” Niffenegger writes that when she tries to explain The Three Incestuous Sisters, she tells people “to imagine a silent film made from Japanese prints, a melodrama of sibling rivalry, a silent opera that features women with very long hair and a flying green boy.” Of the second non-visual novel she’s working on, the biographical blurb in the back of The Adventuress notes that “she’s a very slow writer, easily distracted by her cats and the lure of libraries and airplanes.”
Howling Moon: A Tale of the Sazi by C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. I started out getting very involved in this tale of a werejaguar and a pack of werewolves, but I think the story was drawn out too much for the amount of story there was to tell.
Relative Magic by Tanya Huff. I admit to not reading all of the stories in this collection of Tanya Huff’s short fiction. Frankly, her “high fantasy” works don’t interest me (no one’s “high fantasy” or “sword & sorcery” seems to interest me anymore – I’m all about contemporary fantasy now), so I stuck to the more contemporary tales.

Viewing Update
Into the Wild. I own the Eddie Vedder soundtrack, so when a friend I haven’t seen in a while suggested catching the film at the Riverview Theater ($3.00) Friday night (after catching up over a glass of hard cider at the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar), I decided I should do so. The movie is gorgeous, the story thought-provoking and ultimately, to me, very tragic.

Mayhem Update
Can you see the cat in this picture? (Um, yeah, I might have a few books and cds…)

Need some help?

This time, she’s lying on about 10 pairs of wet wool socks…